It is officially pie season! Whether you prefer apple pie, pumpkin pie, minced meat pie, or pecan pie, this is the time of year to celebrate all things pie. In fact, the other day I was speaking to a customer who was buying a bunch of sweet potatoes and apples to make a pie. Not two different pies – but one combined sweet potato/apple pie. As we were chatting, I shared with her my aversion to all things pie. It’s not that I don’t like pie – it’s more that I don’t like pie crusts. So, I thought I would take advantage of this pie-season to research options and alternatives for the likely small percentage of people who, like me, hate pie crusts….or for those of you who just want to do something different.
Now, just to clarify: I don’t discriminate against pie. I also dislike quiche crusts. My husband and I make an incredible quantity of quiche every year (the side effects of having backyard chickens AND an extra freezer) and I consistently eat the quiche right out of the crust. In addition, I don’t just hate one type of pie crust, I hate them all: crisco, oil, butter, sweet, or savory. I’m not sure where this disorder started but it does have surprisingly wide ranging effects. The only cure is Tom Douglas’ coconut cream pie, which I usually eat too quickly to even notice that I’m eating the crust.
A couple years ago, my world began to shift when I learned that you can use sweet potatoes instead of crust and it is delicious. All you have to is peel the sweet potatoes and then shred them (using a cheese grater). You then pile the shreds into a greased pie tin and squeeze a fairly thick layer around the sides (they shrink during baking). I originally thought this would only work with quiche but, after talking with that customer, it does make me think it would work well with a fruit pie as well.
Since sweet potatoes were so inspiring to me, I decided to hit google and see what other alternatives exist to cure my disorder. It turns out that there are a lot of options….all of which sound significantly more interesting and more appealing to me than traditional pie crusts:
- brown rice or cooked grains
- bread or cracker crumbs
- hash browns
- granola or cereal
- and, according to this site, you can also use chopped nuts or broken up pretzels/chips!
Whether you like pies or avoid them, this is still a good chance to try something new in the world of crusts. Get creative, have fun, and let us know what you discover!